The Midland Hotel - Morecambe

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Welcome to the The Midland Gallery 1933 - 2016


Midland Hotel Dining Room

'Opening Night' - the dining area and staff are ready for their first customers - photograph copyright of RIBA

Midland Hotel Napkin

A napkin featuring the Marion Dorn Seahorse design

Midland Teapot

A meal wouldn't be complete without a teapot to match!

Original Side Plate

An original Side plate which would have formed part of the beautiful place settings as seen in the photograph above - this item (still showing its lot number of 207 is chronicled here)

Man posing outside Midland Hotel

Man posing in front of Midland Hotel

From Maureen Hamilton who provided me with the photos of her parents/in-laws in front of the hotel in 1933.

Maureen Hamilton - Message dated : 06.02.11

I don't know if this info is of any use to you.   The picture is of my father-in-law (from Edinburgh) but he was working in Bradford at the time, where he met his future wife.  They married in 1935 and returned to Edinburgh where they opened up a Jewellers which was in business until 1985.   The Hotel had just recently opened and he and his future wife to be, and another two friends, visited Morecambe particularly to visit the hotel.  I do have another photograph (practically the same as the one you purchased) showing my father-in-law's friend standing at the car, which I will be putting on Ebay in the next few days.   Hope this helps. Maureen

(preceded by this comment on 05.02.11 - Hi Anna: "Glad you asked about some history. I'm a bit pushed for time just now but will send an email tomorrow with some info for you. Maureen"

Message dated : 15.02.11

Hello Anne:
What a coincidence your father being a jeweller. Mother-in-law and father-in-law would be visiting the Midlands Hotel because of Mabel's love for modern, upmarket buildings - particularly those with glamour. She had a good singing voice and played the piano competently. If I remember rightly she and her brother (who was also very musical) used to perform at concerts in Bradford during the late 1920s. If only she were here, she would have loved to give you all the details of her visit to the Midlands Hotel.
If anything else comes to mind I'll be back in touch.
Kind regards
(My message: Thanks for this and apologies for not getting back to you sooner.  I'm sure I can weave this into the description on the photo and will keep it anonymous as you have.  Am very interested that your father-in-law was a jeweller, so was my dad - but may have been a little younger than yours [born 1918] as he did not marry until 1945 but then the war had interfered in their lives a bit.

Do you have any other of your father-in law's memories of the Midland - particularly why he wanted to see the new Midland  was it because he was artistic and loved the modernist style or because it was well

Message dated : 21.02.11

Hi Anna:
Glad you were successful with the other photo of Midlands Hotel, and many thanks for your prompt payment. I will send the photograph to you tomorrow morning (First Class Mail), and will then send an email confirming it is on its way.
I think this is Mabel's brother - I love his striped jacket - very Midlands Hotel!!!
Best wishes


Tennis players on the beach 1934

23rd June 1934: Holidaymakers eating ice cream after a game of tennis at Morecambe in Lancashire. With thanks to Getty/Fox for this charming image


Menu 1937

We've seen the hotel, the restaurant decked out so here is a menu for you from 1937

Menu details

You could enjoy a Grapefruit starter or Morecambe Shrimps followed by Clear Julienne of Cream Portugaise

Unknown family

No provenance for this photograph other than a note stating that the photograph was taken in 1937

During the War Years 1939 - 1945

Hospital Personnel at the front of the Hotel

Hospital Staff gather at the entrance to the hotel. Image Source : 'The Midland Hotel, Morecambe's White Hope' by Barry Guise and Pam Brooks

On a sunny afternoon in July 1933, a remarkable building opened its doors to the public for the first time. The London, Midland and Scottish Railway Company had taken the bold step of replacing its old Victorian hotel on Morecambe's seafront with a sparkling white Modernist structure - quite unlike anything seen before in an English seaside resort. Acclaimed from every quarter for its revolutionary architecture and the quality of its interior, with outstanding works by leading artists of the day, the Midland Hotel was unique. Resplendent on the promenade, its gleaming facade promising a bright future, the Midland was seen as the town's 'white hope'. This book, with its numerous superb illustrations, tells the fascinating story of the hotel from its inception and 1930s prime, through its role as a hospital in World War Two, its sale into private ownership and fluctuating fortunes up to the present day. Having reached rock-bottom in 2002, this former embodiment of glamour and luxury was a sorry sight. Empty, save for the vagrants and pigeons, with peeling paint, broken windows and a leaking roof, it barely staved off demolition. At the eleventh hour, however, rescue came in the shape of award-winning property developers Urban Splash who purchased the building in 2003. The multi-million pound project to rehabilitate the hotel for the twenty-first century is nearing completion and the building is scheduled to re-open in the spring of 2008. Retaining the elegance and style which made the Midland Hotel so special, this beautifully restored hotel is set once again to be Morecambe's 'gleaming white hope'. This book comes now with a superb brand new extra section bringing the story up to date with the completion and opening of the hotel! Source :


Knees Up

A liberation 'knees up' maybe?


Pony rides on the beach 1955

From the Francis Frith collection - ponies on the beach in 1955

Three Girls at the MH 1950s

Girls Girls Girls! Three contemporary 1950s girls enjoying a fine day in Morecambe using the Midland as a backdrop. Thank you to Deb Morley of Morecambe and Heysham Past and Present who provided the photograph which was taken by her father, Ted Morley.


Poster enticing visitors

Poster by Lance Cattermole in 1960 - who could resist this lovely

Miss Great Britain 1968

Miss Great Britain 28th August 1968 menu card

Menu from the 1968 Miss Great Britain

The Miss Great Britain Competition in 1968 publicity shot and Menu cards - with thanks to the BBC for use of the images

The Miss Great Britain Competition was held in Morecambe from 1956 to 1989, with the 1968 event being won by Yvonne Ormes from Nantwich in Cheshire. The 1950s and 1960s saw the peak years of seaside beauty pageants, which coincided with the boom in Britons holidaying on the coast. Many resorts had their own copycat versions of the original Miss Great Britain Competition, which was second only to the illuminations as Morecambe’s main tourist attraction. Source : English Lakes

The summer setting could be mistaken for the Costa Del Sol, but the 1968 event was actually held at iconic Midland Hotel, in the Lancashire seaside resort of Morecambe says the Birmingham Mail

Various historical Menus displayed at the Midland

More historical Menu cards on display

A selection of Midland Hotel historical menus from the late 1950s - 60s displayed at the Midland Hotel in 2008

Midland Hotel 1960s advert

During its time as a Thistle Hotel the hotel continued to weave its magical spell.


Midland Hotel Pony Rides

A variation on the popular Donkey Rides of old a group enjoying a Pony ride with the Midland Hotel as a backdrop - possibly mid to late 80s as the hotel still looks in reasonable condition and the appalling fire escape is still visible. I have to say that I am not in favour of animals being used as entertainment, but this is so very typically English!

Midland Hotel and Mini 1980s

Sunny day in Morecambe, possibly sometime in the 1980s or later - the Midland as a backdrop still has the old conservatory attached and the fire escape is just visible, but what attracted me to this picture is the chocolate brown classic mini parked by the railings.


Filming in the Silverdale Suite

A very unusual image of a play 'in progress' taken in the Silverdale Suite (1st Floor) courtesy of Robert Nelson who posted this story on Facebook.

As written by Robert Nelson "A certain Mr Hornby brought up the subject of The Midland Hotel as a work of art. I certainly agree; it is a VERY important building. Here is an unusual story about the hotel. The picture shows some of my band performing in a room at the hotel.

This was during the time that it was closed and demolition looked a likely option for it. A theatre group performed a play in which the audience moved from area to area of the hotel (including the toilets) to see scenes from the play. When they got to The Silverdale Suite, where this room was the band played as if the actress (sat on the bed) remembered her father who had been a musician. She is holding a 100 year old cornet that I loaned her. We were there for hours and it was absolutely freezing. A winter's gale blew through the windows and the floor had been laid with turf (to simulate a park) that turned to mud as the day wore on. Soon after it was announced that the hotel had been bought and would be renovated. I was very relieved to hear that!"

I am happy to record that Robert Nelson eventually found my message to him the Fb 'Other Inbox' (which has not caught on) and sent me this charming reply allowing me to use his story and image :

Permission granted to use image from 1990s Midland HotelPermission granted to use image from 1990s Midland Hotel

And then kindly followed up with this on the Fb page :

Official link to my website

21st Century - a new take on the original memorabilia, hotel and tableware

Midland Logo

Shower drain

Shower drain

Can you believe the attention to detail? These are shower drain covers

Rotunda cutlery

The English Lakes 'upgrade' has introduced their own 'Seahorse' logo which is now visible all around the hotel and on memorabilia - here are the de-luxe napkins (too good to use!) which come with meals in the Rotunda.

Box of Chocolates

Mmmm - a bit of an indulgence!

Towel Set

I re-designed my whole bathroom to accommodate this towel set!

Souvenir champagne flutes

Souvenir Champagne Flutes bought for my birthday in 2011 (and used for preference endlessly!)

Welcome Mat

The fabulous 'Welcome Mat'


21st Century - Imitation is said to be the greatest form of flattery!

Giant seahorses adorn hotel in £80k revamp

Copycat seahorses

Owners of the Queens Mansions holiday apartments in Bispham Mick Grewcock and Sheila Chick have invested �80,000 in the property, including two six-foot seahorses modelled on ones which decorate Morecambes iconic Midland Hotel. Mick and Sheila admire the seahorses with their creator, former Illuminations sculptor Shoici Yasuda - image and story © Blackpool Gazette

Six-foot high seahorses are now adorning the front of a five-star block of holiday apartments after an £80,000 investment. The seahorses, at Queens Mansions, on Queens Promenade, Bispham, have been put in place as part of the upgrade by Mick Grewcock and Sheila Chick, owners of the Burbage Holiday Group. An art deco clock has also been installed, while the seahorses (modelled on ones which decorate Morecambe’s iconic Midland Hotel) were designed and made by former Illuminations chief artist Shoichi Yasuda.

And Mick, while enjoying the new decoration, says he also has plans for further aesthetic improvements in future. He said: “The Queens Mansions is a beautiful building but we knew it needed something adding, so we thought having our own seahorses made would be very in-keeping with the art deco style. “We won’t stop there though and what we would really like to do is maybe put a balcony on it similar to those on New York’s Chrysler Building at some point. “Apparently it did have one like this when it was built back in the 1930s so we’ll see.”

Since they first launched the Burbage Holiday Group back in 2000, named after the Leicestershire town where they originally come from, Mick and Sheila’s business has gone from strength to strength. They started with six holiday apartments and today they have 12 four-star and six five-star apartments split between two properties at Queens Mansions and Burbage Lodge, both on the Promenade.

Mick estimates around 85 per cent of visitors are repeat customers. He added: “If you want your guests to enjoy a luxury holiday and to want to come back again then you have to reinvest. “We put money back into our business every year and because of that we are incredibly busy. “The diary is packed with very little availability now this year but the only reason it is like that is because we maintain very high standards and our customers know they will get that every time.”

21st Century Redevelopment Plans

Redevelopment View

Masterplan for Morecambe's central promenade introducing housing as well as retail and leisure outlets. Designed by Flacq Architects.

Further redevelopment plans

A plan of the proposed Urban Splash development - leaving a town divided - the Visitor 05.08.2012

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Page refreshed : 1st November 2017 (G)